Black Diamond Equipment Contour Elliptic Compact

A trekking pole that's easy to adjust on the fly.
Contour Elliptic Compact
Price $129.95


Min Length (inches) 27
Max Length (inches) 49


Weight 1 lbs, 2 oz


I rarely bother to change my pole length while hiking, because I find even the simplest locking mechanisms too fiddly—but the SureLock eases on-the-fly adjustments. A unique trigger system lets you adjust this three-section aluminum pole with one hand: Holding and squeezing the handle like a syringe releases the lock and allows you to push (or pull) on the middle segment to adjust the length in five-centimeter increments. The collapsible bottom segment locks into one fixed length with a push-button mechanism. Dings: The relatively heavy swing weight gave it a sluggish feel when I was skiing downhill and the plastic grip gets slippery with sweat or rain.


Hiking on terrain with frequent elevation changes


> Kelly Bastone (other tester: Kristin Hostetter)

> Duration Jan. to March

> Locales/conditions CO; 20℉ to 70℉; dry, muddy, and snowy trails

> “Just 23 inches when stowed, the TR-3 fits tidily onto a pack.”


> Weight 19 oz./pair

> Price $150


Same as Contour Elliptic, but with a smaller grip size and shorter length.